Search Engines: Gateway to a New “Panopticon”?

  • Eleni Kosta
  • Christos Kalloniatis
  • Lilian Mitrou
  • Evangelia Kavakli
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5695)


Nowadays, Internet users are depending on various search engines in order to be able to find requested information on the Web. Although most users feel that they are and remain anonymous when they place their search queries, reality proves otherwise. The increasing importance of search engines for the location of the desired information on the Internet usually leads to considerable inroads into the privacy of users. The scope of this paper is to study the main privacy issues with regard to search engines, such as the anonymisation of search logs and their retention period, and to examine the applicability of the European data protection legislation to non-EU search engine providers. Ixquick, a privacy-friendly meta search engine will be presented as an alternative to privacy intrusive existing practices of search engines.


search engines privacy cookies search logs 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleni Kosta
    • 1
  • Christos Kalloniatis
    • 2
  • Lilian Mitrou
    • 3
  • Evangelia Kavakli
    • 2
  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Centre for Law & ICT (ICRI)Kathtolieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Cultural Informatics Laboratory Department of Cultural Technology and CommunicationUniversity of the AegeanMytileneGreece
  3. 3.Information and Communication Systems Security Laboratory Department of Information and Communications Systems EngineeringUniversity of the AegeanSamosGreece

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